Written by Milo Hsieh and Wei Azim Hung. At a time when Downing Street seeks to recalibrate its relationship with Beijing, Liz Truss’ Taipei trip has raised eyebrows and controversy in London as well as provoked strong condemnation from Beijing. For Taiwan, the trip shows that yet another former official sees Taiwan as an important part of their agenda as world leaders increasingly make Taiwan a priority destination.
Tag: UK-Taiwan relations
Provocations: Taiwan Amidst Trust, Truss and the G7
Written by Ian Inkster. Liz Truss led her charge into Taiwan on 16 May with the notion of Britain backing a Taiwan move to join the Pacific trade block, the CPTPP, against the present neutral position of the British Tory government under Rishi Sunak. This immediately provoked the Chinese to label her ‘sinister’. The point being that this was merely a Trussian wedge into her major provocation, that there is a ‘fatalism in the free world that somehow a Chinese takeover of Taiwan is inevitable’. Dangerously, Truss seems to have failed utterly (and almost certainly deliberately) to distinguish commercial and political, even military, aggressions, and to that extent, the danger of such an intervention should, of course, be noted.
Liz Truss: Fighting for Taiwan or Personal Credibility?
Written by John Burn. It was already clear from her recent speech to conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation in Washington DC that Liz Truss – the UK’s shortest-serving Prime Minister of all time – is trying to develop her image beyond the country’s shores. Being responsible for one of the most disastrous economic policy outlines in the UK’s history in her mini-budget upon coming to office, she lost public confidence and the confidence of the Conservative Party in very short order, resulting in her dismissal after 44 days in office.
Going for Low-Hanging Fruit, Deliberate Strategy, or Path Dependency?: Liz Truss’ Visit to Taiwan
Written by Brian Hioe. Former UK prime minister Liz Truss arrived in Taiwan on May 16th for a five-day visit. Truss’ main purpose in visiting was to give a speech at the invitation of the Prospect Foundation, a think tank close to the Tsai administration. In addition, Truss met with President Tsai Ing-wen, Vice President William Lai, and other high-ranking officials.
Truss Visits Taiwan: Worth or Trouble?
Written by Huynh Tam Sang and Phan Van Tim. Liz Truss’s journey is in the limelight as the first ex-British prime minister to set foot in Taiwan nearly thirty years after Margaret Thatcher’s visits in the 1990s. Nonetheless, the worth of Truss’s five-day sojourn is a contentious issue. From one perspective, Truss’s visit is deemed immensely significant, exemplifying the UK’s unwavering backing for Taiwan amidst escalating Chinese pressure, given her enduring advocacy for a democratic Taiwan. But, conversely, others argue that her visit merely inflamed the already high-strung tensions between China and Taiwan.
An Instagram comeback tour or a sincere bid to strengthen democracy in East Asia? Liz Truss’s Taiwan visit exposes growing Conservative Party tensions over China, but either way, Taiwan still wins.
Written by Max Dixon. Liz Truss, MP for South West Norfolk and British Prime Minister for 44 days, visited Taiwan last week, between May 16th and May 20th, meeting with senior officials, including William Lai, the frontrunner to replace current President Tsai Ing-wen, and giving a keynote speech to the Prospect Foundation that called for a more stringent British approach to China. Ostensibly the visit of a former Prime Minister has been heralded as a coup for Taipei in emboldening the position of Taiwan in the global imagination amidst growing Chinese assertiveness; indeed, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has welcomed Truss’ visit.
Truss or Sunak? Who is better for Taiwan?
Written by Ben Seal. In the previous general election, which took place in December 2019, just over forty million voters gave Boris Johnson a majority of eighty seats. This summer, after the resignation of Johnson, around 180,000 Conservative Party members are choosing who will be the UK’s next Prime Minister. Will they select Sunak or Truss? As the voting goes into the final days, polls suggest that Truss will be the most likely victor, but my piece attempts to examine how both contenders would affect the UK’s relationship with Taiwan.
For The Good of Taiwan. Truss, Sunak, or Complete Indifference?
Written by Ian Inkster. The most likely manner in which the choice of Tory candidates might be of interest in Taiwan would be through foreign or economic policy. Unfortunately, though these two areas of government are meant to complement each other in normal times, our days are increasingly abnormal, thus the array of rhetoric, the focus on personalities, the exaggeration of anomalies, and the fixation on trust, veracity, and the lack thereof. And that is just in one party. Look around to your left and see the mirror image. Look across the Channel and see confusion and a reluctance to debate all major socio-economic problems. Look across the greater sea to find headless leadership. Not a charming prospect.
A Reflection on the UK’s Parliamentary Reaffirmation to Bolster Economic, Security & Develop Strategic Ties with Taiwan
Written by Raian Hossain. Most importantly, the debate at the House of Commons has highlighted a strong unity among different political parties’ parliamentarians in bolstering ties with Taiwan in all possible ways, be it economic, helping the island in international recognition, along with ensuring peace, security, and stability across the Taiwan Strait region. The cross-party unity approach ensures much more robust ties between UK-Taiwan in the upcoming days despite which party forms government in London in future.
China’s abuses offer opportunity for Taiwan to play a greater role in UK foreign policy
Written by David Green. The UK is in dire need of a coherent China policy, and that policy should provide for deeper ties with Taiwan. The last white paper on how Britain treats with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was drafted in 2009, just after the Beijing Olympics’ conclusion. Back then, a misguided belief that constructive engagement would soften China’s authoritarianism still held sway. Furthermore, Hu Jintao’s Scientific Outlook on Development was in full swing, and the Chinese stimulus was driving a global economic recovery in the wake of the financial crisis.
What does the change in UK-China human rights relations mean for Taiwan?
Written by Ross Tandy. When it comes to dealing with China, certain issues are sensitive and have to be dealt with as such. Human rights and Taiwan are two issues that certainly fit these criteria. Following the events of 4 June 1989, the West was united in condemning the acts of China.
A Further Note on Taiwan-UK Relations
Written by Ian Inkster. In the 27 September 2017 issue of Taiwan Insight I spelled out in ‘Taiwan, the UK and the Chinese Factor’ some